Am I Being Respected At Work? 7 Signs You're Being Mistreated, According To Experts

Ad failed to load

It’s no secret that many women are undervalued in the workplace. But since we don’t always know what we’re entitled to, many of us settle for less than what we deserve at work. We accept lower pay than the men we work with, bite our tongues when our bosses talk down to us, and brush off our coworkers’ sexist jokes because we feel lucky to have a job at all. We should never have to put up with disrespectful treatment, though. Once a line is crossed, it’s time to either say something or get out of there.

If someone at work is making you uncomfortable, there are ways to address it while minimizing the chances that they’ll retaliate. "Believe in the best of the person across the table from you, assume that they are good people, give them what I call MRI (most respectful interpretation), instruct them in a non-confrontational way, crack a joke about it to ease the tension, and if they continue to act in a poor way, go to your supervisor or HR," Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder of Ellevest, tells Bustle.

If you don’t feel comfortable saying anything, that’s OK, too. The important thing is not to internalize other people’s mistreatment of you. And the first step toward making sure you don’t is to know you deserve better. On that note, here are some signs you’re not getting the respect you deserve in the workplace.

Ad failed to load

1Your Boss Isn’t Helping You Grow

One thing your company owes you for all the hard work you put in is the chance to develop your skills and discover your interests. So, a boss who respects you will mentor you, set you up with a mentor, sponsor classes, ask you if there’s a new type of assignment you want to take on, or do something else to nurture your growth. After all, the reason you took the job in the first place was to advance your career.

“When an employer does not offer support, or worse, seeks to capitalize on an employee who is attempting to cultivate skills, that is often a sign of an employer who does not value the individual,” Elizabeth M. Minei, Ph,D, career coach and Founder and C.E.O. of EMinei Consulting, tells Bustle.

2You’re Being Paid Less Than The Industry Standard

Thought Catalog/Unsplash

Underpaying someone is literally devaluing them. “Being paid well below industry standards is one of the first clear markers of an employee being taken advantage of, and is one of the more demoralizing situations in a workplace,” says Minei. It’s hard to know what pay is fair for you, but one way to start is to ask your coworkers or friends in similar jobs. You can also take a survey on to see what people with a similar position, location, and qualifications tend to get paid.

3You’re Getting All The Work Because You’re “The Best”

It may seem contradictory, but if your coworkers are always talking about how you’re the best worker there, they may actually be devaluing you — if they’re using that as a reason to give you more work than other people, says Minei. If you’re going to take on more work than others (or than you were previously), you should at least be paid more.

Ad failed to load

4You’re Not Included In Meetings

Freddy Castro/Unsplash

Leaving someone out of meetings relevant to their job conveys that their opinion isn’t important and they don’t deserve to know what’s going on. Even if you’re at a lower level and don’t need to contribute to a meeting, attending meetings is how you learn how things operate so that you can advance. “Even at a junior level, a manager or co worker who wants the best for you and cares about your engagement and career will make you feel included by inviting you to join conversations about your specific tasks,” Aurora Meneghello, Founder of Repurpose Your Purpose, tells Bustle.

5You’re Left To Your Own Devices

Cathryn Lavery/Unsplash

A good manager will invite you to ask questions, offer support, and clear up any confusion you have. They won’t give you vague instructions then get mad at you for not reading their mind. “Asking an assistant to make travel arrangements without locking the travel timeline and budget and then blaming the assistant when cancellations need to be made and refunds are not possible” is one common form of workplace disrespect, says Meneghello. “You want to work for and with people who not only take responsibility for their roles, but understand that it is by mutual support and cooperation that a company thrives.”

6Unqualified People Criticize Your Choices

Alejandro Escamilla/Unsplash

It’s fair for your boss to be giving you feedback, but someone below you or from an entirely different department should respect that you know what you’re doing better than they do. Especially if you're a woman or person of color, beware privileged people who attempt to explain your own job to you. “This type of intrusion will undermine your credibility, chip at your confidence, and waste yours and everybody else's time,” says Meneghello.

Ad failed to load

7Your Boss Never Gives Feedback

A boss who never tells you what they think of your work is setting you up for failure, Bob Fleshner, Founder and President of EPICOACH, tells Bustle. You can’t improve if you don’t even know what you need to work on. And if you don’t know what you’re doing well, you can become unnecessarily insecure.

“This is a particularly insidious means of disrespect because it’s not immediately clear that it’s even happening,” says Fleshner. “But, over time, the failure to provide feedback allows the boss to demand more and more work in ever shortening time frames with the assurance that you will respond because you have begun to question whether you are performing well.”

If you notice any of these things happening, talk to your boss or coworkers, and if they’re not receptive, start looking for a new job.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Your Weekend Love Horoscope For May 19-20, 2018

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

7 Last-Minute Royal Wedding Party Ideas Worth Waking Up Early For

We're only two days away from the royal wedding, so it's safe to assume Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finished with their planning (we hope). But if you're a commoner who's procrastinated on planning a watch party, you still have time to decorat…
By Ayana Lage

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

9 Hacks For Fighting Jet Lag That Actually Work

Jet lag is the worst. There's no doubt about it. And it's only natural to want to find a way to prevent it. Searching for jet lag cures online often means encountering expensive products and sketchy supplements. Luckily, there are ways to train your …
By Eva Taylor Grant

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan